By Matthew Russell Lee
UNITED NATIONS, October 18 -- What has Ban Ki-moon turned the UN into, as he seeks to run for President of South Korea?
On October 17, Inner City Press asked Ban's outgoing spokesman Stephane Dujarric why his office had not made available Ban's speech in Washington DC on October 14 to the Council of Korean-Americans (in essence, a Ban Ki-moon campaign event) but had widely emailed out Ban's speech the same day while getting another honorary degree in Maryland.
Dujarric replied, with characteristic defensiveness, that Ban's Friday evening speech at the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center in DC was private. Vine video here. (Somehow, Ban racking up another honorary degree was not private).
Inner City Press asked how much UN -- including Haitian aid -- money was spent on Ban's “private” campaign speech. Dujarric did not answer, turning to other correspondents (about Wonder Woman, another low point under Ban and his should-be-outgoing head of “Public Information” Cristina Gallach).
On October 18, Inner City Press asked again, if money was charged.Video here. UN transcript:
Inner City Press: You'd said that Ban Ki-moon's speech on Friday in Washington to the Council of Korean-Americans at the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center was somehow a private appearance, but I've seen pictures of it. He was in a tuxedo with a big screen behind him, and the media was present. So, I'm left… I guess what I wonder is, what do you mean by "private"? Was it open only to some media? What… was…
Spokesman: You'd have to ask the organizers.
Inner City Press: But, if he spent… the money question is this… if it was a private…
Spokesman: He was in Washington for a UN-related event, and he participated in a… in this event organized by this foundation, which was considered a private event.
ICP Question: Was money charged to attend it?
Spokesman: You'd have to ask the organizers.
ICP Question: Would that be against UN rules?
Spokesman: The Secretary-General and others appear sometimes in dinners where money is charged.
We'll have more on this.
The Council of Korean-American's speech was covered with headlines like “Ban Ki-moon defends leadership to counter Western media’s criticism.” Ban's defense, it seems, is merely “personal” - in a parallel fictitious universe like Wonder Woman. Watch this site.
On October 77, Inner City Press asked Ban's deputy spokesman Farhan Haq, UN transcript here
Inner City Press: there's been a number of media outlets in South Korea that have quoted former Prime Minister Kim Jong-pil, who has met with Ban Ki-moon and is viewed as a supporter and ally. He has been quoted on the record saying Ban Ki-moon has made up his mind and is running for president. So I wanted to know, when's the last time the Secretary-General spoke with Mr. Kim Jong-pil? Because it becomes important to know to assess the credibility of his statement of Mr. Ban's intentions.
Deputy Spokesman: On this, as we have made very clear, the Secretary-General has spoken, he is going to work as Secretary-General and continue to concentrate his energies on being Secretary-General of the United Nations until the end of his mandate. He'll make his decision after that.
Question: Right. So he's wrong. So his ally is not…
Deputy Spokesman: That is what the Secretary-General has said. Have a good weekend, everyone.
On October 3 Inner City Press asked Haq about a political party's offer to Ban, UN transcript here:
Inner City Press: there was a proposal today, or a law proposed and announced by the Saenuri Party in South Korea, which would provide, quote, privileges or benefits to the Secretary-General when he leaves here, which would include a bodyguard, office, security, secretary. And so some have raised… is there any provision for this? Is this consistent with UN ethics rules in terms of a country offering these things to a sitting UN official?
Deputy Spokesman: Well, regarding that, you'd have to ask the officials in South Korea what their arrangements are. This is… obviously, the Secretary-General doesn't accept these favours in his time as Secretary-General. I wouldn't have any comment on his post-Secretary-General career.
On September 30, a concert in the UN pitched as only about South Korea's 25th anniversary at a UN member was converted into an event for Ban Ki-moon's legacy.
Oh Joon, who has spoken about Ban and South Korea's presidency, was there, as was Ban's male personal assistant and his spouse (but not Ms Eun Ha Kim.) UN officials Adlerstein and Dieng, Ombudsman and successor candidate Helen Clark were there. Some Ambassadors showed up at the top and then left; Kazakhstan, we note, stuck it out.
The music was great - but, it was disclosed, paid for by investment bank G C Andersen. Ban cited Han Seung-soo, who he's let be a UN official while on the boards of directors of Doosan and Standard Chartered Bank. (Inner City Press asked the new President of the General Asssembly about this on September 30, here).
Ban's nepotism has come to the fore, but his polling is up, and he'd headed on the road. We will cover it, watch this site.